Have you heard about Lancashire Councillors recently refusing planning applications for fracking?
Lancashire County Council’s development control committee turned down Caudrilla’s application to explore for shale gas by drilling, at Roseacre Wood (between Preston and Blackpool) ‘due to the impact on traffic.’ The committee must reach a decision on a second site proposal soon, at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, although planning officers have recommended the go ahead.
So with this fracking threat still hanging over the Lancashire community, we thought it a good time to explore the pro’s and cons of fracking with regards to the housing market.
Hang on a minute, what exactly is ‘Fracking’?!
Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure; allowing the gas to flow out to the head of the well.
So why is fracking controversial?
Those who are against fracking (e.g. Friends of the Earth) highlight potential environmental impacts, such as:
- Contamination of ground water,
- Depletion of fresh water,
- Risks to air quality,
- Noise pollution,
- Migration of gases and hydraulic chemicals to the surface,
- Surface contamination from spills and flow-back.
Opponents also point to the dangerous example of the US, where the process of fracking has led to large areas facing a serious water crisis; due to the technique consuming vast amounts of water.
Can fracking reduce house prices?
It also raises the question of whether areas that are subject to fracking will reduce house prices – and as yet, it is too early to tell whether house prices in the UK will be affected or not. However, there was a case in Pennsylvania a couple of years ago where a couple applied for a new mortgage but were refused because of a new gas well located opposite their home. They were then turned down by two other national lenders for the same reason.
In an email, Quicken Loans told the American couple, “Unfortunately, we are unable to move forward with this loan. It is located across the street from a gas drilling site.”
So are there any benefits?
- Shale gas can expand Britain’s energy resource,
- Fracking will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels,
- Will cut carbon emissions,
- In the US it has significantly boosted domestic oil production and driven down gas prices,
- David Cameron has promised local authorities all of the business rates collected from shale gas schemes.
So what do you think?
- Do the economic benefits outweigh the environmental issues?
- Will this destabilize the housing market?
- Do you want fracking to come to Lancashire?
Whatever your views are on the issue, please share them with us!.